Spectroscopy of scattered sunlight in the near-UV
to near-IR spectral ranges has proven to be an extremely useful tool for the analysis of atmospheric trace gas distributions. A central parameter for the achievable sensitivity and spatial resolution of spectroscopic instruments is the étendue
(product of aperture angle and entrance area) of the spectrograph, which is at the heart of the instrument. The étendue of an instrument can be enhanced by (1) upscaling all instrument
dimensions or (2) by changing the instrument F
number, (3) by increasing the entrance area, or (4) by operating many instruments (of identical design) in parallel. The étendue can be enhanced by (in principle) arbitrary factors by options (1) and (4); the effect of options (2) and (3) is limited.